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The year is almost over, but it’s not going to go out without one last big hurrah. On December 22nd, we will find ourselves face to face with the final full moon of the year, and it’s going to be an emotional one!

Those who are aware of the impact of the moon and its phases are highly familiar with the incredible power that it has over our emotional state at any given time. Also referred to as the ‘Ruler of Emotions’, the movement of the moon through the zodiac signs and its interaction with the other planets as well as other astrological occurrences can greatly influence what we are feeling, how we view the world around us and how we interact with others. Why? Our emotions are a powerful motivator and inspiration in our lives, driving us forward and directing our focus and attention.

As the moon works through the phases of the lunar cycle, our emotions also cycle in a noticeable way. Starting with the new moon and fresh beginnings, we will feel our emotions begin to build and grow night after night as the moon continues to grow in the night sky. The full moon is the height of this growth, the moment of greatest emotional intensity.

It is for this reason that we associate the full moon with crazy behavior and wild actions. It’s not that people suddenly lose any sense of common sense that they may (or may not) have previously possessed, however when faced with such intense emotions we don’t always think before we act. This leads to rash decisions, impulsive actions, and some incredible mood swings. Just ask any emergency room doctor or law enforcement officer, things can get pretty wild.

This month, however, there is more to take into consideration than just the phase of the moon. The December full moon is going to occur in the sign of Cancer, a highly sensitive and nurturing sign. We will find ourselves even more aware of the emotions and needs of those around us as Cancer encourages us to get in touch with the compassionate and empathetic aspects of our personality. This is a sign that lives its life guided by its heart, and with such intense emotions taking hold, don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Remember, this is only a limited time, you can make it through this!

If that wasn’t already enough to face all at once, there is a wild phenomenon about to take place this December. In what can only be described as incredibly rare, the December full moon is going to line up quite nicely with the December 21st Winter Solstice. This is so rare that The Old Farmer’s Almanac records show it has only occurred 10 times in the Northern Hemisphere since 1793!

The shortest day of the year, Winter Solstice is an important astrological phenomenon in which the balance of light and dark begins to shift once again. It is a time where we find ourselves face to face with pains and hurts from the past, working through them and releasing them from our lives in order to free ourselves for the amazing experiences to come. These experiences, understandably, come with their own difficult emotions, further complicated by the fact our emotions are already running wild.

It is more important than ever to exercise adequate self-care during this time. Schedule some ‘down time’ into your day, time to be spent watching your favorite show on Netflix, taking a relaxing bubble bath or just curling up with a hot cup of tea. You will pull through this unscathed, but only if you take care of yourself in the process.